Bethesda Legal Team Pressures ‘Fortress Fallout’ Devs to Change Name

Legal representatives for Fallout 3 publisher Bethesda Softworks have sent a cease and desist letter to Xreal, an indie studio currently working on “Fortress Fallout”, demanding the developer change the game’s title and no longer applies for its trademark.

DarkOcelet3148d ago

The game has no resemblance whatsoever to Fallout. This is pretty stupid.

mkis0073147d ago

Sue Fall out Boy while their at it. They own pip-boy? Double infringing .


Pintheshadows3148d ago

When will corporations realise that they do not own WORDS.

lemoncake3148d ago

Only problem is that they do.

EZMickey3147d ago (Edited 3147d ago )

This is the common misconception about trademarks. There is no law or legal system that allows anyone to own exclusive use of a word. That's not what a trademark is.

A trademark is concerned with the brand, logo and industry. Anyone in the world can use the word Fallout in a product, but if your product is a video game, it's competing in the same industry as Zenimax's game and they have a right to ask you not to use that name. Likewise if your product is UNRELATED to video games but your logos and branding are very similar it's also competing.

Games media will never tell you this because they don't profit by informing you, they profit by outraging you and in this case they're doing it by painting Zenimax as a big corporation who's 'bullying' the little guy.

The reality is that it's your responsibility as a trademark holder to protect your brand. If Zenimax doesn't do this, the result is that if someone legitimately tried to plagiarize or infringe on their brands they would have a much harder time protecting it in a court of law. Ask any lawyer.

LoveSpuds3147d ago (Edited 3147d ago )

As a trademark examiner in the UK I can tell you that for the most part you are spot on.

The most important consideration faced by any examiner is in assessing the distinctive character in any application before them.

In this instance, the word Fallout in respect of software would be viewed as being very distinctive. It doesnt describe a characteristic of the goods in any way and is not a term often used in respect of software.

With this in mind it is likely that any subsequent mark that included Fallout as a dominant element of their trademark (in a word only mark for example) would likely be cited as an earlier right.

Where misuse of trademarks occur is where a mark like 'Candy' is registered by King and then they try to enforce their IP by opposing to marks such as 'Candy Dandy' (I made that title up btw).

In this instance, the word candy on its own is seen as low in distinctive character whereas the combination 'Candy Dandy' is much more distinctive.

In reality it is remote in the extreme that a hearing officer would agree that there is a liklihood of confusion because Candy is so weak, but thd little guy doesnt know any better and also has to risk incurring potentially expensive costs if he loses.

YodaCracker3148d ago (Edited 3148d ago )

This reminds me of when Bethesda sued Mojang for using the word "scrolls" as the title of their game:


EliteGameKnight3148d ago

I kind of have Bethesda noted in my mind as that one company that makes good games but has a law team that will jump at any opportunity to shut other projects down for sharing a single word. Mojang's Scrolls all over again....

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Xbox Head Defends Bethesda In Wake Of Crunch Allegations

Head of Xbox Matt Booty said that it’s ‘unfair’ to put crunch culture on ‘one studio’

SullysCigar458d ago

"Head of Xbox Matt Booty said that it’s ‘unfair’ to put crunch culture on ‘one studio’"

Alright Matt, so you're saying it's okay because there are other studios that crunch too? What sort of effed up logic is that for a supposed leader?

Fishy Fingers458d ago

"I don’t say that to justify it"

SullysCigar458d ago

Then why not take the criticism on the chin? Crunch is bad at any studio, including Bethesda. Own it, don't deflect.

Sometimes you just gotta take it, Booty..

Rimeskeem458d ago

That just makes them a hypocrite?

Germaximus457d ago

That's exactly why you would say such a thing. There's literally no other reason to mention it unless you're justifying it.

S2Killinit457d ago (Edited 457d ago )

Its interesting that MS came to the defense of Activisn/Blizzard but didnt say anything when Bobby Kotic got re-elected to Activisn board. People said MS has no say in it, but now it seems they did and stayed silent. Interesting.

Lifexline457d ago

I do wonder if people just read the sensational headlines and run with it or if they actually bother to take the time to read the article.

JackBNimble457d ago

Meanwhile everyone is bitching about delays

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 457d ago
Obscure_Observer458d ago (Edited 458d ago )

"Then why not take the criticism on the chin? Crunch is bad at any studio, including Bethesda. Own it, don't deflect."

Wtf are you talking about? Did you even bother to read the article?

Kotaku´s report about crunch practices at Zenimax/Bethesda dated from 2018 during Fallout 76´s development. They were independent at the time, so how exactly Matt Booty should "own" any criticism towards Bethesda if the said company wasn´t an Xbox first party studio?

SullysCigar458d ago

And yet he feels he should defend them. So he's acknowledged the issue, it makes no odds when it took place.

If he feels the need to comment on it at all, he should simply assure everyone that it won't happen on his watch. Instead, he defended them because he felt they were being singled out. That's deflection, not condemnation.

Pointless saying this to you though, I do realise this.

Wintersun616457d ago

Did YOU bother to read the article? Or is your brain selective with the information it can absorb?

"Former Bethesda employees said that Xbox took a hands-off approach to managing ZeniMax once the acquisition closed, frustrating workers who’d hoped that Microsoft would improve their employment benefits.

ZeniMax wasn’t the only Xbox-owned studio that allegedly received relative autonomy from the publisher. Former employees at Undead Labs also claimed that Xbox took a “hands-off” approach after acquiring that game studio. While it may seem good that the publisher is allowing acquired studios some operational freedoms, sources at Undead Labs worried that such permissiveness “allowed dysfunction to fester.”"

Orchard458d ago

But we're all guilty of enabling the behavior. People complain vehemently when games are delayed.

He is right that it's unfair to blame that culture on one studio when it is an industry wide standard. Looking at your name, you're a fan of ND, who are renowned for some of the worst crunch in the industry, so you've likely also contributed to the problem.

SullysCigar458d ago

Lmao don't be ridiculous. How are you gonna put this awful practice on the gamer? If it's not ready, gamers whine, so what? They'll still buy it down the line and devs/pubs know that. You think if I send a tweet saying "hurry up", they're going to work harder and longer? Lol

It's done to make money sooner. To satisfy investors, per the preferred schedule, at the behest of the management. You can't possibly be that naive that you don't understand that. I refuse to believe it.

Orchard458d ago

I never said it was wholly the gamers fault - obviously corporations are to blame too, but yes, gamers contribute.

The next time a big game gets delayed, go on the developers twitter and see how much abuse they get - both the company and the individuals who work there. Some will even be getting death threats if the game is big enough.

And no naivety at all on my part - I've lived through game delays myself, seen how much potential community reaction is weighted before making the call to delay a title, and seen the BS received from the community.

The industry and gamers view game delays as the end of the world and use it as a reason to attack the people working on the game, when in reality, delays should be common to ensure both quality of the game and quality of life for the staff.